ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Bentley took the first game of the best-of-three Atlantic Hockey quarterfinal round, 4-1, over RIT.
Brett Gensler scored the first two goals, and Brandon Komm made 46 saves.
“To come in this building and get the first night was very important for us to try to get through this round,” Bentley coach Ryan Soderquist said. “A great effort from our whole team, specifically our goaltender, [Branden] Komm. He had a great night. I thought our team did a good job picking up a lot of rebounds at the end there. Obviously, he made the first save and we picked up the guys for the second and third opportunities.”
“We got what we deserved tonight,” RIT coach Wayne Wilson said. “I thought they had a much better second and third effort than we did tonight. Everything we shot was kind of one and done. Very lackadaisical for us in general. They outworked us on the power play, penalty kill, all facets of the game.”
It took just 10 seconds into their first power play for Bentley to get the first goal of the game at 4:47 of the first. Shane Madolora made the initial save, but the rebound bounced around in the crease and Gensler poked it in.
Six minutes later, RIT knotted the game up. Cameron Burt got the puck over to Mike Colavecchia skating full speed down the right side behind the goalie. His backhand attempt at the open net hit the post, but he was able to put the brakes on and knock the rebound into the net.
For Burt, it was his 133rd career point, making him the school’s top scorer in their Division I era.
“It’s great, but we lost the game, and that’s the only thing I care about,” Wilson said.
In the second, Bentley regained the lead again on a goal by Gensler again. Micah Williams dumped the puck into the corner. A player from each team over-skated the puck as it bounced back toward the middle. The puck found Gensler wide open in the slot, and he easily beat Madolora at 4:45.
“He’s that guy,” Soderquist said. “Obviously, when he has the opportunity to put the puck in the net, he has the ability to do that. He’s been carrying us for the last couple of months. We’re excited that he’s playing hot.”
Despite RIT dominating the final period, outshooting Bentley, 19-8, they were unable to force overtime. Instead, the Falcons put the game away with two empty-net goals. Brett Swizter got the first with 1:13 left and Joe Campanelli got the other with 34 seconds left.
“We didn’t want to sit back,” Soderquist said. “We were stuck in our zone a little bit late in the game, and RIT brought a lot of pressure, but I thought we responded well there in the last five or six minutes.”
The two teams play again Saturday night for the second game of the three-game series.
“We’re excited to come back here tomorrow night,” Soderquist said.